Top 10 draft pick recap....
RC is currently processing a lot of information, and so our complete draft commentary is not ready just yet. Our initial impression of the draft is that the Royals went out and got the best players available in the first two rounds, and then made some "interesting" picks. Their fourth and fifth round selections, for instance, are somewhat puzzling initially, as neither Dickerson nor Hayes seems to have justified such a high selection. But we haven't yet heard the explanation, so it's very possible that we're missing something. Of course it's also possible that the Royals went into cost-savings mode in order to ensure they'd be able to sign the best player in their draft, Gordon. Regardless, the overall first day looks promising, and RC is not disappointed.
We've compiled some of the available information on the first 10 picks. Most of the scouting reports are taken directly from the Major League Scouting Bureau, and several of the players have video clips available. Further comment will be forthcoming, as RC promises to continue being the best source of Royals information available on the web.
1) Alex Gordon - 3B - University of Nebraska
For report, please see yesterday's post
2) Jeffrey Bianchi – SS -- Lampeter HS, PA
COMMENT: Excellent frame. Very athletic and agile. Good growth potential. Balanced, line drive hitter. Generates bat speed. Agile and fluid in field, good footwork. Quick hands. Throws carry. Moves well down line, on base. Aggressive hitter and team leader.
3) Christopher Nicoll – RHP – UC Irvine, CA
COMMENT: Lean, well-proportioned athletic body. Still has room to grow. Delivery is smooth, easy and deliberate. FB tails a little into RHH. Short, quick 3/4 slider is his best breaking pitch. Mixes pitches and changes speeds well. Good competitor on the mound.
BA: Nicoll has drawn favorable comparisons to Jason Windsor, who led Cal State Fullerton to the 2004 College World Series title and was the event’s Most Outstanding Player. There is a parallel between the two because new UC Irvine coach Dave Serrano worked with Windsor as the pitching coach at Fullerton before he took the Irvine job. Like Windsor, Nicoll has an excellent feel for pitching. He commands an 88-90 mph fastball to both sides of the plate and has a knack for making hitters swing at pitches out of the strike zone. Overall, his stuff is a little short. His slider is inconsistent but he gets good deception. Tall and lanky with a refined delivery, Nicoll projects to throw harder. He is coming off a fine season last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he went 4-1, 1.70 for Orleans. After being used in a swing role his first two years, he has been the ace of the Anteaters staff this spring, going 6-3, 2.34 with nine-inning averages of 9.2 strikeouts and 1.9 walks. Like Windsor, he has a chance to go as high as the third round but also could go as late as the fifth or sixth.
4) Joseph Dickerson – CF -- Esperanza HS, CA
5) Shawn Hayes – SS – Franklin Pierce College, NH
COMMENT: Lean, strong w/ athletic, live body. Compares body & arm strength wise to Joe Nathan at same stage. Slight uppercut stroke for gap power, more to come later. Loose, live, whip arm, does it easy. Solid hands, will catch all near him. Solid makeup.
6) Ryan Diprieto – LHP – Eastern Connecticut State University, CT
COMMENT: Narrow frame. Similar to fomer ML John Tudor. Loose, easy arm. Short in back, good out front. Smooth delivery, finesse and feel for the mound. Keeps arm speed on circle change-up.
7) Brent Fisher – LHP – Tolleson Union HS, AZ
8) Nicholas Doscher – C – Moore Catholic HS, NY
9) Kiel Thibault – C – Gonzaga University, WA
COMMENT: Country strong, athletic build w/ solid legs. Strong, level swing w/ length in hitting zone drives ball straight away. Has ML-quality quick defensive skills. Throws on target. Exudes leadership.
10) Jeffrey Howell – C – Florida Southern College, FL
COMMENT: Solid, well-proportioned frame. Line-drive stroke w/ strength in swing. Likes to hit to RF and RCF w/ occasional power. Loose, easy arm w/ on-line carry. Strong, soft hands, seldom drops ball. Good catch and throw ability. Hard-nosed kid.